ED arrests Zakir Naik’s financier Sathak

Mumbai: The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on Friday arrested jeweller Abdul Kadir Najmudin Sathak here for assisting fugitive Islamic preacher Zakir Naik by transferring funds of dubious origins from the UAE to him.

The agency said that the funds were used to facilitate production of videos meant to spread communal hatred and radicalise a particular community.

Sathak was director of Global Broadcasting Corp FZE LLC that owned the Peace TV channel which broadcast the “communal and inflammatory” speeches of televangelist Naik from the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to the Middle East and Africa, an ED statement said.

“Investigation revealed that Global Broadcasting Corp (GBC) was controlled by Naik through Sathak who was his trusted aide.”

As per the statement, the content for the said channel was made in India by Mumbai-based Harmony Media Private Limited, which was also controlled by the controversial preacher. He had placed his sister, Nailah Noorani and his close associate Aamir Gazdar as Directors.

The funds required to record the Peace TV content were routed through the GBC, Dubai.

“The source of fund remitted by GBC to Harmony Media is suspicious as there were no advertisement run on this channel and Sathak has not submitted any details of the same,” as per the statement.

An arrangement was made to project the transfer of money from GBC to Harmony Media as a business transaction. Both entities were directly controlled by Naik through his trusted aides.”

The ED further said that it was learnt during the course of investigations that these videos were also exported to the UK.

“There was no monetary transaction in respect of videos exported to UK, which further raises suspicion. Further investigations in the matter are under progress,” read the statement.

The ED in December 2016 registered a criminal case against Naik and his Islamic Research Foundation (IRF) under money laundering laws after taking cognisance of a similar FIR lodged by the National Investigation Agency (NIA) under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act against them in November 2016.

Naik, who has got permanent resident status in Malaysia, came on the security agencies’ radar after some terrorists, allegedly involved in the attack on a cafe in Dhaka in July 2016, claimed they were inspired by his speeches.

On November 17, 2016, India declared Naik’s Mumbai-based NGO IRF an unlawful association under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act, 1967.

Earlier, Rs 50.49 crore worth of properties belonging to Naik and properties acquired by him in the names of his relatives were attached provisionally by the ED.